Fishing is decent during storms if you’re in the right spot


Short bass are going to school … caught by Chris Driscoll. Submitted photos

Despite the crazy weather storm Gordon hammered us with last weekend the fishing was decent if you were in the right spot. I know that sounds like a Captain Obvious statement, but it holds more truth in storm conditions. Getting into out of the way areas, or finding a spot that bait fish get pushed into and trapped is key. The Cape Henlopen fishing pier was killer action for spot during the storm, after, and still going strong.

Dave Beebe, owner of Lighthouse View bait and tackle … “People were out in that monsoon like weather bailing spot over the rail on the incoming and high tides. The action is continuing and we see few flounder here and there. The mullet have been thick along the shore line. Some days you can fill a bucket up real fast.”

Short striped bass action has increased. The rockfish are schooling up and feeding heavily around the inland bays, Delaware Bay, and all the tidal creeks. The action has been the best in back bay areas and creeks that are holding a lot of bait, especially mullet.
There are small bluefish mixed in with the striped bass schools around the inland bays. Flounder action for short flounder is still decent, and white perch in the creeks. Bona Fide baits, bloodworms, and sand fleas are your best baits.

Bone Fide baits

Bona Fide baits by the Fortescue Bait company are showing up in stores around Delaware. Great bait made with squid and infused with different flavors that are all natural. Bloodworm, grass shrimp, clam, mussel, spot, and a few other flavors. Great bait, you only need to use a small piece about the sizeof your pinkie fingernail. It stays on the hook better than regular squid. Can be refrozen to last until totally used.

Another great alternative to artificial baits that are more harmful to fish than good. It is all natural so a fish can digest it, and if it winds up in the water it will just breakdown like squid naturally does.

Broadkill Beach erosion

Broadkill Beach took a hit from the remnants of storm Gordon.

Broadkill Beach took a huge hit from storm Gordon remnants. The beach has been eroded away about a mile or so. The public access is now a 7-foot cliff of sand. The beach is marked off with caution tape.

Go to Beach Plum Island State Park instead of Broadkill Beach. That park is just down the road at the end of the neighborhood. Great place to fish and the water was really clear a couple days after the storm conditions subsided.

The ocean is looking really clear along the coast … hopefully by now the surf fishing drive on accesses are open but Hurricane Florence effects will govern park’s decision. It is a safety concern not only for anglers, but anyone who would have to rescue them. Water has been washing almost to the dune line earlier in the week.

Catching a rare crab

Split color blue claw crab. Submitted photo/Jim Whitby

Jim Whitby and his boss Lee Thomas, owner of the crabbing boat Migrator, caught a rare crab last week. This blue claw crab’s color is split right down the middle. We see different crab colors all the time from mixed colors to all blue crabs and albinos. There are all kinds of rare mutations in nature. Recently a crab with its right half female and its left half male known as a bilateral gynandromorph was caught in Maryland.

Jim Whitby … “My boss said he’s only seen it twice in 30 years and the first one he caught was taken to a biologist at DNREC near Woodland Beach. They said it’s a spot between the eyes that sends a signal to tell it which color to be and it is sending a mixed signal.”

The surfers have been digging the waves the surge from Florence has been producing. Apparently there is a bug going around that only the surfers have been catching and keeping them out of work.

Hopefully any effects from Hurricane Florence are over fast and we can get back to normal fishing conditions. If it were fall during the striped bass run I would be fine with rough seas and heavy winds. Striped bass love those conditions.

Rich King’s outdoors column runs Thursdays in the Delaware State News.

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